October 11, 2007
by Jaime Daremblum
8:30 –10:00 AM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2007
Hudson Institute, Center for Latin American Studies
ARGENTINA: ELECTIONS AND POLICY DEBATE
Welcome and Moderator: Ambassador Jaime Daremblum
Director, Hudson Institute's Center for Latin American Studies
Featured Speaker: His Excellency José Octavio Bórdon
Comments: Hugo Alconada, Bureau Chief, La Nación
Federal News Service
JAIME DARENBLUM: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, excellencies, dear friends. I'm Jaime Daremblum, director of Hudson's Center for Latin American Studies, and it's my pleasure to welcome you this morning to a discussion on the upcoming elections in Argentina with Ambassador José Octavio Bordón.
On the eve of the general elections to be held on October 28th, there are multiple questions concerning what the elections hold in store for Argentina, and to some extent its neighbors. The international interests in the outcome arise, of course, from the importance of Argentina in the region. There is no one more qualified to enlighten us on this particular juncture than Argentina's key representative to the United States, my good friend Ambassador Bordón.
Ambassador Bordón has had a very interesting, rich, and fruitful career serving his country in different capacities. In addition to having been a top legislator, governor, and presidential candidate, he has also excelled as an educator, and since 2003 as a superb Ambassador of Argentina to the United States. We're honored to have him speak at Hudson.
We're also very pleased and privileged to have with us this morning Mr. Hugo Alconada, a leading Argentinean journalist, and a bureau chief of La Nación in Washington. I'm sure Mr. Alconada's comments will stimulate our general discussion.
And without any further delay, I give you Ambassador Bordón.
JOSÉ OCTAVIO BORDÓN: Thank you so much. First of all, thank all of you for being here this morning. My special recognition and regard to the Hudson Institute and my dear friend Mr. Daremblum, my dear friend Jaime. And also it is a privilege for me to share the stage with a representative of a new and very important generation of journalists in Argentina.
First of all, I want to say that, for me, it's a real challenge this morning because, as Jaime said, in my background I am a politician, academic, and ambassador. If I speak as ambassador, I need to be very careful, and it would be very boring. If I speak as an academic and politician, it is possible that I will lose my job. For these reasons I will try to combine my backgrounds, I ensure that will be boring, and maybe I will lose my job. But after five years with no drama… (Laughter.)
Okay, what is the scenario today? Very briefly, the electoral polls are showing that the official candidate, Senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, first lady, is winning in the first round election. The battle for the second position is between the former minister of economy of President Kirchner, Roberto Lavagna, and former congresswoman Elisa Carrió. But obviously, as the official candidates say about Cristina Kirchner, or Cristina Fernández, the final word is in the hands of the ballot box, not in the hands of the previous polls.
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Ambassador Jaime Daremblum is a Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and directs the Center for Latin American Studies.
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